Jordan’s King Abdullah II paid a rare visit to the West Bank on Monday to show support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as the two moderate leaders try to engage with previously shunned Islamists now on the rise in the region. Abbas is holding power-sharing talks later this week with Khaled Mashaal, the top leader of the rival Islamic militant group Hamas. The two will try to end a bitter split caused by Hamas’ violent takeover of Gaza in 2007 that left Abbas’ government in control only of the West Bank.
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